It was Saturday, my sacred resting day before a crazy week so to be honest, I wanted to text back a “no thank you!”. Then I remembered that regardless of my exhaustion, I needed to get in touch with my mothering spirit. What happened to me? Last year I was all about going out, seeing new places, and doing new stuff. So I pulled myself together with a war cry, “life is all about Living!” and entered the GPS coordinates in my phone and headed to Al Rahba.
Upon arrival, I suddenly had mixed emotions. The farm was just one of many non-descript farms in a row and looked nothing like the manicured green farms we were used to in Virginia. The overall feel of the place was a bit dingy as we were welcomed by flies and manure. I understand organic farms need animal manure, but I felt like it had so much potential and could have been better kept.
There’s a small stand by the entrance for fresh picked veggies to-go if you aren’t in the u-pick mood, the Kenyan guys staffing it were super sweet and helpful. And just a warning, there are currently no signs, tour guides or anything obvious so if you don’t ask, you’ll be wandering around aimlessly. The friendly staff somewhat explained the layout, but we still felt like there should be signs of some sort to help guide us.
We started on the outdoors plants, where the idea was to work your way up and down the lines (there was potato, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli) and fill your baskets, which is super fun for the kids.
Indoors was the jackpot spot! They have tons of different peppers and tomatoes right up front but ask them to take you to the back to pick kale, beetroot, carrots and eggplant. You won’t be able to see these areas from the main walkway. And just to give you an idea of the price, one bunch of organic kale is AED 5! I still can’t get over it…FIVE DIRHAMS! We got two huge bags of veggies AND organic eggs for AED 70.
At the end of the day though, all that mattered to the kids was that they had a lot of fun. My girls got to learn how to pick ripe vegetables and felt like farmers for the day. So parents, don’t get your hopes too high if you come from areas with beautiful well-maintained green farms, but you can for sure expect your little ones to have an awesome time.
- Bring your own bags or baskets: It’s part of the organic experience; we forgot our own and had to pick veggies in white plastic bags. Save the environment!
- Bring cash: They do not take credit cards and there are no ATM’s nearby.
- Arrive early: Best would be between 9-10am, definitely before noon. The weather is still cool and there’s more veggies to pick – the broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes left in the field were tiny, so best to get the bigger ones from the to-go stall at the entrance.
- Pack snacks & water: After an hour the kids were whining for food, which aside from the actual food you’re picking, there’s nothing else available for purchase.
- Wear layers: It was still chilly when we arrived but heated up pretty quickly.
- Ditch the stroller: The roads are a bit rocky, not so bad, but bumpy. It might be better to wear your baby in a carrier if you can.
- Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes: Ditch the Louboutins, you’ll be walking over mushy soil.
Farm 182 is located in Al Rahba, and they open their doors every Saturday from 9am to 4pm for a “Pick Your Vegetables” experience. Their organic produce is both ESMA and EU certified and much cheaper than your local grocery store.
All children are welcome under the supervision of adults for this non-guided picking tour.
Map | GPS Coordinates: 24.611083,54.695732
If you want to check out the other u-pick farm in the area that offers fruit, check out this blog post by Abu Dhabi Confidential.
Sudanese-American working mom of three. Free Spirit. Idea Curator. Her brain moves faster than her body can go. A laid back chic who walks around with that stereotypical hippie vibe.She is never afraid to give you her unsolicited opinion about gentle parenting. Esraa has been actively over-sharing her motherhood and parenting stories on social media since 2008.